diary 2011 project

Just found out about this awesome project (thanks to Linda at IndieCEO for posting this on her blog)! I've reserved Sep 30 2011 (my birthday) and now I'm busy working on my page design.

I also have a little calendar project of my own in the works, and hope to have it ready by the end of June. If you are a handmade jewelry artist or metalsmith, please email me if you are interested in having a photo of one of your pieces in the calendar. Your shop or website url will appear with the photo as well. It will be a free, downloadable and printable PDF to start, released each month for the upcoming month. You could put the pdf on your blog or website and email it to family and friends, or you could print a bunch and mail them to your customers with their packages. Just a fun, free little promotional gift. We'll see how it goes over!!

Dear Ornamentea...

Thank you for making my day!

My mixed metals necklace was chosen for the May Customer Showcase, and I couldn't be more excited! Ornamentea is my favorite supply shop.... even though they are in North Carolina and I am here, I am a frequent online shopper. They have the neatest things, and this is one of the very first necklaces I made. That lie detector? One of the coolest charms, ever! I am absolutely thrilled about this!

I'll be rearranging my blog a little bit over the weekend, so bear with me! I need some html help before it will look all pretty again!

Featured Metalsmith: Cate, of The Moss Pot

As a new member of the Etsy Aspiring Metalsmiths Team, I have been spending some time (okay, lots of time!) ogling the stunning and inspiring work from my new teammates! The guys and gals on this team are extremely talented and from time to time I would like to feature some of their work on my blog. First up is a little mini-interview about this gorgeous piece from Cate, of The Moss Pot! I love the rustic/polished feel of this piece, and she has done absolutely beautiful metalsmithing work on it.

I asked Cate to share with me the inspiration behind this gorgeous piece:
"I kept coming back to this basket of old photographs in an antique store, but I just didn't know what I would do with them. It finally occurred to me that if I put them behind glass in a bezel setting, they could be worn, and they'd be safe from damage, as well as being magnified. I like that at first glance, you may not notice you're looking at a turn-of-the-century man's suit. It sort of sneaks up on you, and I like that. It's always fun when there's more than just the obvious going on. I made a ring too, to show off his rather handsome face."
What a beautiful way to preserve an antique photo, don't you agree? You can visit Cate at her Etsy shop, TheMossPot, to get your own Antique Boyfriend!

Urgent need for wildlife affected by the Gulf Oil Spill!!

Please take a minute to donate, OR if you can't donate right now, take just one minute to fill out this form at the NWF website asking your senators to do something to prevent future disasters like the Gulf Oil Spill!

If you live in the area, please consider volunteering to help with the clean-up efforts. There are a variety of tasks, click here to see how you can help!!

The wildlife will thank you, as will future generations!

New section in shop - Sale Section!

Since Mother's Day is coming up on May 9th I thought I would have a little sale!

Handmade jewelry is really the perfect gift for the moms who like jewelry.... Over the years I have started to really dislike a lot of the mass-produced pieces from stores. In my experience this stuff breaks pretty easily because it contains lower quality (cheaper) components, or was put together quickly without care. I have also found that stores carry pretty much the same kinds of necklaces, they need to carry what's popular and trendy, after all. However, I like something a little more unique and I try hard to make things that are a bit different (hence my love of antique brass in many of my pieces). These are just a few of the reasons I like to make (and buy!) handmade jewelry. Let me know your thoughts on buying handmade!

Mirabilia necklaces in purple, now in the shop!

Mirabilia is latin for miracles or marvels.... I think I first saw that word on a tea package somewhere, and it's stuck with me... it rolls off the tongue... Mirabilia....

While designing some new necklaces the word Mirabilia came to me again.... these necklaces have a little bit of everything in them -- beads from here, there, and everywhere that I have collected over the past couple of years..... vintage glass beads from a stash my father found at a garage sale; millefiori beads with purple, white, and a bit of red; clay and stoneware beads from one of my favorite bead shops here in Austin; a deep burgundy pearl and a beautiful purple agate slice; a purple felted bead; and various other purple beads in my supply stash, and a mix of all different shades of purple czech crystals.

I think these necklaces would be perfect for Mother's Day... especially if you have a mother who loves purple, as I do! These necklaces are a treasure trove of beads! I can't wait to make more in other colors.... let me know how you like these, and what other colors you'd like to see! And click on any of the images above to go directly to my Cormorant Studios shop on Etsy!

current etsy faves....

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Works in progress...

Just wanted to share with you -- a peak at what's on my work bench!

a mix of teal, brown, patinaed brass, & minty yellowy-green

Okay so it's just a table top but work bench sounds so much more.... professional. Don't you think?

shades of grey - tibetan silver, porcelain, labradorite, & vintage beads

Well, I guess the important thing is that the creative process is under way....

tiger eye, honey colored glass, & african trade beads

I'll have some new pieces soon!

Supplies & Techniques I use

Here is a list of supplies and techniques I use, along with descriptions. This will be a work in progress, and I will have a permanent link to this post in the sidebar. If you have any questions about any of the materials or techniques, please leave a comment in this post and I will answer it!

a mix of brass & antique brass charms
(the truth/lie detector is a raw brass that has patinaed over time)

Brass - an alloy of copper and zinc. The specific percentages may vary. Some brass appears more yellow, some appears more reddish. Brass can be expected to naturally darken or patina over time, adding to its beauty.

Antique brass - this term refers to a darkened brass, it does not necessarily mean that the material used is antique or old.

Patina - refers to a coating or film on the surface of a metal. Different metals patina to different colors, and this can be manipulated in various ways - through the application of heat or chemicals, varying the time of exposure, or just letting nature take its course. The term patina is also used to describe a mellowing or wearing of the metal that happens with time.

Gunmetal - an alloy of copper, tin, and zinc.

****** to be continued ******

My 2nd job....

Just got home from class, wolfed down some dinner (grilled chicken, avocado, and a baked potato) and now I'm at my 2nd job in my studio! I have realized that if I want my jewelry to sell, I really need to treat this as a business. This means that I have a schedule.... even if it's flexible. I AM the boss, after all! But I have certain things I need to accomplish, so even though I can keep it loose to suit my creativity and work style, at the end of the week I still need to have created 7 new pieces (one piece a day, on average, is the goal... some days I'll put together 3 or 4 pieces, and other days are devoted to other tasks.....but at the end of the week, I must have 7 new pieces). Also, organizing my room - even if it's a work in progress - has definitely helped my productivity and my inspiration/creativity. It's so much easier to create new pieces when my supplies are organized and my table is semi-clean so that I have space to work.

As with any job, there are certain aspects I don't like much (like the photography - it's just tough to get good pictures of jewelry, but I know I'll get better with practice). I also have a hard time blogging... it's not for lack of ideas, either. But at least making jewelry is a fun job! And since I've begun treating it as an actual job now, I have clearer goals and more motivation to accomplish them. And with that, I am off to create some pieces!

Getting set up...

Circular Reference - Gunmetal & Brass Necklace

I am staying busy setting up my etsy shop and my Facebook fan page, taking more pictures of my products, and designing new pieces - if not actually putting them together, because I have hurt my elbow. I spent an hour on Monday evening burnishing a pot for my ceramics class, and I guess I should have taken a break! So now my elbow is in pain, but I still have work to do.... I also ordered some Moo cards and can't wait to get them! And I did spend some time online today researching some of the vintage screw-on and clip-on earrings I bought at the Antique Outlet a while back. I've decided to sell those as-is, and will have them posted soon in my etsy shop! I will post here as well, as soon as they are listed, so stay tuned!

Cormorant Studios

I am taking the plunge and fully intend on making Cormorant Studios a successful business. I have been playing with this for the past two years (I like to say I've been researching), but I should have gotten serious about it sooner. There simply is no excuse! But better late than never, as it's said....

This blog will become the landing spot for my business (my domain will be set to forward directly here). It is currently directing to my Artfire shop but I will be getting this blog rearranged, and then it will direct here.

I have a big challenge ahead of me, but I am feeling extremely motivated and have lots of ideas about making this work. After two years of 'research', I am ready! I better be ready!

Although I don't consider myself a writer, much less a good one, I am setting up a blogging schedule for myself so that I will blog more regularly. Since I will be selling supplies from time to time, I also want to feature customers' creations here in my blog. So definitely stay tuned and check back soon!


Happy New Year!

Cheers, 2010! Hope you are a good one! I am sending very positive & happy thoughts your way. Good vibes put out, good vibes got back, right? Well here is a not-very-detailed list of my goals for this year -- at least I'm putting 'em out there!!!

1. Expand garden and/or revamp front yard (am still working on details for these)

2. Incorporate more edible & medicinal plants and herbs into my landscape

3. Learn about and use edible & medicinal plants in my cooking

4. Learn to make wine

5. Build & use a solar oven

6. Learn to bake bread

7. Make homemade yogurt

8. Learn to can

9. Improve my physical fitness (yoga regularly, walking, gym 3x/week)

10. Take a jewelry soldering class

Other things on my wish list:

1. Learn to spin/weave

2. Take a book-binding class

3. Take a PMC jewelry class

4. take some workshops with DesignBuildLive.org - they offer workshops on alternative building materials

5. learn Wildlife Rehabilitation

6. Take a First Aid/CPR class

Travel: Yellowstone & Grand Tetons in Wyoming, then down to Colorado for a family reunion. I really want to take a session at Penland School of Craft in North Carolina, but not sure if I can get away from work.

I have a full schedule and this is in addition to the Art classes I'm taking and my fledgling jewelry-making business. I work part time though so that's nice... I like to have my hands in several different pots, I have ADD.... anyway a Happy New Year to all!

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